The Michigan Wolverines are on the road this week for the first time this season as they take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Michigan is 4-0 after earning a conference win in the Big House last week over Rutgers. Nebraska has had a slightly different tale to the season, as it is 2-2 with a new head coach, a change at quarterback and a program trying to find its footing in a talented Big Ten.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
No. 2 Michigan Wolverines vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
- TV: FOX
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
- Weather: 73 degrees, partly cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: MICH -17, O/U: 39, ML: MICH -950, NEB +625
- Best Bet (5-6-1): MICH -17
Nebraska fans were adamant they would be better under Matt Rhule and potentially battle for the top spot in the Big Ten West. While the second part of that statement is still up for grabs, Nebraska has looked pretty similar. The Huskers have a good defense, a turnover-prone and run-heavy offense, and a team that hasn’t put away bad teams while losing to the mediocre-to-good ones.
I have no doubt Matt Rhule will turn around Nebraska. He’s done it at every college he has been the head coach of. But his decision to bring in Jeff Sims to be his starting quarterback didn’t pan out. Now he’s leaning on sophomore Heinrich Haarberg, who has a lot of similar problems.
While he's gifted with his legs, running for at least 95 yards per game in both starts this season, he is horribly inaccurate with his arm. He’s barely completing more then 50 percent of his passes, doing so against Northern Illinois and Louisiana Tech.
In steps a Michigan defense that is arguably the best in the country. Last week, the Wolverines held Gavin Wimsatt to only 28 yards on the ground, and he was still the team’s leading rusher. Outside of the 69-yard touchdown pass on Rutgers’ first drive, Wimsatt threw for 121 yards on his next 20 attempts, completing half of them.
While it is Michigan’s first road game of the season, they have a veteran squad that has been there and done that in hostile environments. Their offensive play style has me leaning heavily towards this game getting ugly, as Nebraska will have so few opportunities to establish quality drives. I’m laying the points with Michigan in Lincoln on Saturday.
No. 9 USC Trojans vs. Colorado Buffaloes
- TV: FOX
- Time: Noon ET
- Location: Boulder, Colorado
- Weather: 53 degrees, partly cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: USC -21.5, O/U: 73.5, ML: USC -1450, CO +850
- Best Bet (5-6-1): Colorado +21.5
Colorado sucked last week on the road in Eugene. Dan Lanning called his shot and absolutely wiped the floor with Deion Sanders’ squad. If they hadn’t let up at halftime, the Ducks would have won by 150.
Now, a USC squad comes in that is 4-0 and has the best player in college football leading the way in Caleb Williams.
But USC is built very differently than Oregon. The Ducks have one of the better defenses in college football and a top-10 offensive line. The Trojans have neither of those things. In fact, USC has given up 364.5 yards per game so far this season against San Jose State, Stanford, Nevada and Arizona State. Their defense is not THAT much better than Colorado’s.
Under Lincoln Riley, USC has also struggled on the road against the spread. They didn’t cover last week against an AWFUL Arizona State squad, and I could easily see Shedeur Sanders look like a stud against this Trojans defense. Give me the Buffs to cover this spread.
No. 11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 17 Duke Blue Devils
- TV: ABC
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Durham, NC
- Weather: 71 degrees, cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: ND -5.5, O/U: 52, ML: ND -216, DUKE +180
- Best Bet (5-6-1): ND -5.5
Heartache for Notre Dame last week when it only had 10 players on the field for the final two plays on the goal line in its last-second loss to Ohio State. While the finish was entertaining, I don’t believe either team played particularly well. Still, the Fighting Irish really grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory in that one, and it puts a major damper on the season.
Now they go on the road to face a Duke squad that has been really good so far. They’ve already upset a top team at home this season when Clemson came in Week 1. Since then, the Blue Devils have looked legit cruising past Northwestern and UConn the last two weeks.
But I think Marcus Freeman takes the loss to Ohio State and turns it on his program. The Fighting Irish know they should have won that game, and hung with one of the best teams in the country.
I could see them laying out that rage they have been feeling against Duke. Sam Hartman and Audric Estime are still great, and they have a team that should win this contest. Plus, Notre Dame is 9-0 ATS in their last nine games against the ACC. I’m riding with the road favorites in the form of the Fighting Irish.